Hai! I love many types of horror movies, including some of the slasher sub-genre. So, Halloween Kills is the 12th movie in the Halloween series that began with John Carpenter’s 1978 horror movie meowsterpiece. This’un is the direct sequel to 2018’s Halloween, which is a sequel to the 1978 i, thus ignoring the other Halloweens in between. This is not the first time the series has been retconned or rebooted!
I loved the first Halloween, but did not care for Halloween II, and I thought that Halloween III: Season of the Witch was a neat movie but had nothing to do with the others. For those who came in late, basically the series purrtains to the masked (and purrobably supurrnatural) serial killer Michael Myers (no relation to the Austin Powers star) a.k.a The Shape, who terrorizes and slays people mostly in the town of Haddonfield, Illinois.
The series is also notable for actress Jamie Lee Curtis who purrtrays Myer’s main adversary Laurie Strode, who is related to him in some of the timelines, and not in others. Although I did not love the triumvirate story arc of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, I did purraise it’s sense of continuity and myth-building.
The first reboot of the series consisted of Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and its sequel Halloween: Resurrection, which ignored Halloweens III – VI, but they did not wow me much. The next reboot was with Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake and its sequel Halloween II, which did not grab me either. That brings us up to David Gordon Green’s 2018 remake of Halloween, which ignored all but the 1978 movie on its 40th anniversary!
I thought was a puretty good Halloween movie, especially due to Curtis’s purrformance! In this timeline, Laurie is not related to Michael, but they do relentlessly try to kill each other. Both failed to do so in the 2018 movie, which brings us up to Green’s direct sequel Halloween Kills which was released in theaters and on the Peacock streaming service last month. It was filmed in Wilmington, which is just 18 miles southwest of here!
It stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie, Judy Greer as Laurie’s daughter Karen, Andi Matichak as Karen’s daughter Allyson, Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy, Will Patton as Deputy Hawkins, James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle as The Shape. Repurrising their roles from the 1978 movie are Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, Nancy Stephens as Nurse Chambers, and Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Brackett!
I do not think this’un is as good as the 2018 Halloween, but it does have the fine purrformances, mewsic and cinematography, purrduction values, and lots of very gory violence! It also s erves as the cautionary tale about what can happen when a bunch of angry people become unwisely an unreasonable vigilante mob that spirals out of control, attacking innocent people and causing lots of purropurrty damage, and get themselves killed.
I suppose my favorite things are the Strode ladies, although Jamie Lee Curtis has a smaller role in the movie than I hoped; and I must say that Anthony Michael Hall’s performance as Tommy was quite impurressive! That is all for my review, so nyow I will turn The Mew over to Meryl for her review of the 25th James Bond movie,
No Time to Die!
Hai! I like the James Bond novels and movies, so when I heard that actors Daniel Craig, Naomi Harris, Ralph Fienes, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Lea Seydoux. Christophe Waltz, the Aston Martin DB5, and the criminal organization known as Spectre would return, oh I was so enthused about this new movie, especially since it has been about 5 years since the purrior bond movie Spectre!
So it stars Craig for the fifth and final time as James Bond, agent OO7, with Harris as agent Moneypenny, Ralph Fienes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q . Lea Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, and Christophe Waltz as Blofeld, who are joined by Lashana Lynch as the new 00 agent, Anna de Armas as CIA agent Pamela, Isa-Dorah Sonnet as Madelein’s daughter, and Rami Malek as the new villain!
It has the story continuity to prior movies Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre and it is peppered with the many clever nods, homages and easter eggs to many of the purrior Bond movies and novels! As you might it is brimming with the thrilling fights, chases, shootouts, espionage, gadgets, mystique, and the quieter but significant character developments at the spectacular locations around the world!
It seemed too rushed and too short, but a lot is packed into the movie with the excellent purrformances, cinematography, stunts, FX, sets, and locations. Nicely directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film score by Hans Zimmer is pretty good, with poignant use of the song We Have All The Time in the World from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and a nice opening titles song by Billy Eilish.
Of the five starring Daniel Craig, I purrfer Casino Royale and Skyfall, but I like this’un more than Quantum of Solace or Spectre. Compurred to all of the 24 purrior Bond movies (the official ones made by Eon Purrductions)
Well, I like it more than Moonraker, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, License to Kill, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Quantum of Solace, and Spectre…
… whereas I do not like it as much as Doctor No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, Casino Royale, and Skyfall. Those movies are listed chronological order, not in hierarchical order.
I will give No Time to Kill the very good grade of the A Minus, and I will rank it at #13 out of the 25 official Bond movies. If I included the unofficial Bonds such as the 1954 Casino Royale, the 1967 Casino Royale, and 1983’s Never Say Never Again, then I would rank No Time to Kill at #13 out of 28. Nyow I will turn The Mew over to our webmeowster Jamie who is eager to discuss
Dune: Part One!
Jamie (wearing his mewsual webmeowster attire):
For those not in the know, Dune: Part One (2021) is based on the Frank Herbert novel written in 1965. The plot centers on Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), son of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) and his concubine, Lady Jessica of the Bene Gesserit (Rebecca Ferguson). Paul and his family are sent to steward the planet Arrakis which is the only place in the universe to find spice.
What is spice? It’s a rare commodity that fuels interstellar travel. It’s also a hallucinogen used in religious ceremonies by the Fremen, the sole natives of Arrakis (aka Dune). But that’s not all. Paul may also be “the one” (Messiah or savior) or Muad’Dib as he is later called in the novel.
This is due to the fact that he has inherited the Bene Gesserit powers from his mother who was supposed to give birth to a daughter, but the Duke asked for a son and she loved him so she gave him a son and then there’s her pride in the mix and — let’s just say Dune can be complex at times. And I didn’t even get into the House Atreides vs House Harkonnen bit.
Now, with that out of the way, on with the review. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is a combination of an arthouse indie film and a mainstream blockbuster on a multimillion dollar budget. The film is a grandiose spectacle for the eyes that echoes the likes of Lawrence of Arabia, The Searchers, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Personally, I cannot recall the last time I was awed by a film like Dune.
If you are comfortable, by all means, see this film in a theater, IMAX if possible. The film was made for the cinema for both fans and newbies in mind, but not everyone will like this version of Dune. For some it will feel too slow. For others there will be glaring omissions from the novel that will lead to disappointment. As stated above, this is only Dune: Part One. If it feels incomplete that is because it is.
The Cinematography – Greig Fraser, (The Mandalorian and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), delivers his best work with Dune. It truly is a celluloid painting of sweeping majesty juxtaposed with tight close ups of the best looking cast in recent years. Dreamlike beauty is contrasted with earthy brutality that help to ground the film to its human characters.
The Score – Hans Zimmer, (Inception, The Dark Knight and Bladerunner 2049), a staple in the industry, begins with an Arabic theme for Dune but morphs into otherworldly territory. Some elements repeat a little too much, but the softer themes are more varied.
The Director – Denis Villeneuve, (Arrival, Bladerunner 2049, and Sicario), is a master craftsman of cinema. What sets him apart is his ability to frame the intimate on a grand scale. For instance, Dune is essentially an indie film with a multimillion dollar budget. Close ups of quiet moments are intertwined within both awe-inspiring special effects and “arthouse” imagery. However, Villeneuve’s greatest talent is guiding actors past their limits to deliver the best performances of their career.
In Dune, Villeneuve manages this feat with every major actor in the film. The FX – Dune weaves both practical and CGI special effects effortlessly. Huge, lavish practical sets ground the film to its very human characters while stunning CGI has the illusion of weight and depth. The only glaring CGI flaw comes in one of Paul’s many visions. The sandworm, Shai-Hulud to the Fremen, may be CGI, but here he’s a complete character.
The Story – Dune (2021) may be the most faithful adaptation to Frank Herbet’s landmark novel to date, however there are many omissions and interruptions that may have die hard fans left wanting. Said to be unfilmable, much of Dune takes place within the mind of many of its characters. Villeneuve tackles this problem with a lot of exposition that is thankfully spread out and varied.
The main focus of Villeneuve’s story is the relationship between Paul and his mother, Jessica. As such, it compacts the story of Dune into a central theme of conflict and acceptance. Paul is the somewhat distracted teenager who must grapple with strange dreams, mounting pressure from both parents and a destiny that terrifies him. Jessica must deal with her own choices as a mother and a Bene Gesserit, brought forth by both love and pride.
The Actors – Dune is the closest thing to a modern day Cecil B. DeMille (Cleopatra, The Ten Commandments) picture likely to show on the big screen. The cast includes, Timothée Chalamet (Paul Atreides), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica), Oscar Isaac (Duke Leto Atreides), Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Stellan Skarsgård (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen),
Dave Bautista (Beast Rabban Harkonnen), Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Thufir Hawat), David Dastmalchian (Piter de Vries), Chang Chen (Dr. Wellington Yueh), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Dr. Liet Kynes), Javier Bardem (Stilgar), Zendaya (Chani), and Charlotte Rampling (Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam). First of all, everyone was excellent.
The only disappointment was that some actors had such little screen time, (Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson and David Dastmalchian in particular). While Zendaya is the poster girl for Dune, she is barely in the film. She’s in it for 15 minutes, maybe. As Chani, Zendaya possesses a grace and calm within Paul’s visions that is intoxicating. She then plays the real Chani as blunt and stoic, a 180 degree spin compared to his dream girl.
Stellan Skarsgård (in facial prosthetics and a fat suit) plays the menacing Baron Vladimir Harkonnen as a shadow that lies in wait. While he does not get much screen time, Skarsgård portrays the character almost seductively, lending a grotesque element to the Baron. Jason Momoa is Duncan Idaho, a swordmaster within House Atreides. A career best performance, Momoa plays the party with heart and honor and steals many scenes.
Sharon Duncan-Brewster is Dr. Liet Kynes, the imperial planetologist/ecologist of Arrakis. In the novel, Kynes was a man, though the gender swap makes little difference here. Duncan-Brewster’s Kynes exudes a strength her loyalty to the Emperor demands, but delivers an undercurrent of conflict throughout her performance.
Oscar Isaac plays Duke Leto Atreides with humility, dignity and a great beard. Isaac understands that Leto is a proud and honorable leader, but brings a warmth to the character as both a dutiful father to Paul and loving partner to Jessica.
Timothée Chalamet brings many layers to the protagonist, Paul Atreides. In the first part of Dune, Chalamet embodies a teenager who is both dutiful and distracted. He often sounds disinterested, even when clearly wants to be a part of things, but this is only due to his visions. Chalamet uses an anemic tone when Paul is unsure, but brings forth a vigor when the Kwisatz Haderach surfaces. It’s a dance Chalamet does well.
In a career best performance, Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica is the emotional heart of the film. She weaves strength, regret, envy, pride, fear and grief into Jessica throughout her performance. Ferguson’s Jessica is also the most controversial performance in the film as it is a wide diversion (sort of) from the novel. In any event, she sells Villneuve’s version of the character, mostly with a look or an expression.
With all that said, is Dune any good? Yes. More than any other film in the last ten years, it’s easy to understand why Dune should be seen in a theater. (If you are not comfortable going out yet, it’s still good on a wide screen). Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is a love letter to cinema, a rare breed of movie for our times. That is all for our movie reviews, and now here is Nya-sensei to begin
Originally published as Hidemari Sketch by Houbunsha in Japan, Sunshine Sketch is the charming, pretty, whimsical slice-of-life manga by Ume Aoki about the group of teen girl students who reside in the Hidemari apurrtment building across the street from the Yamabuki School of Arts in Kanto! There was an anime TV series adaptation of it too!
Volume 10 was longly – awaited, because volume 9 was published back in September of 2018! Translated by Sheldon Drzka and lettered by Abigail Blackman, the he English version is published here by Yen Press. When the series started, the main character Yuno was the high school Sophomore, but now it is her senior year!
Other recurring characters include Miyako the senior with Flaxen Blond hair, Nazuna the Junior with braided Platinum Blonde hair, Nori the Juntior with Dark Gray hair, Matsuri the sophomore with pale Lavender hair, Hiro the college Sophomore with the Light Brown twin-tailed coiffure, and Sae the college Sophomore with Black hair and glasses!
Also appurring are Mashiko-sensei the guidance counselor, and Yoshinoya-sensei the voluptuous art teacher. Vol. 10 is purriced $17.00 in the USA, $22.50 in Canada, and has 120 pages compurrised of 112 Black & White pages, 8 color pages, and the bonus interior cover art.
Among the amusing situations amidst their school’s summer semester are the juice stain mystery, meteor shower viewing, curry cooking, bug catching, still life drawing, homework, the art competition, the water park, greeting card design, the sushi bar, the sports festival and costume relay race.
The plots have such peppy, genki spirit, the character and scenic art is beautiful, with the occasional chibi & supurr – deformed styles for cuter comedic effects! It is in the 4 koma (panel) format, which is mostly of the 2 columns of 4 Black & White panels per page, with some larger panels and full-page pics.
I will give vol. 10 the high praise, but the numciously depicted fried chicken, sushi, curry, omelets, dumplings, pancakes, crepes, pocky and takoyaki might induce the cravings! Nyow here is Mike to discuss of the big new book about
Yep, he is my favorite movie director whose many credits include Castle Cagliostro, Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises, plus his many other animated shorts and TV series!
From October 5th to November 27th, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles is hosting the restrospective of Miyazaki’s films, including exhibits and screenings https://www.academymuseum.org/en/series/hayao-miyazaki,
and DelMonico Books has published this wonderful companion coffee-table book!
Written by the AMMP exhbitions curator Jessica Neiebel, film historian Daniel Kothenschulte, and Pixar movie director Pete Docter with the forward by Bill Kramer and introduction by Studio Ghibli’s producer Toshio Suzuki, this full color 288 page hardcover book measures 11.125” tall x 9.25” wide x 1.125” thick!
With contributions and comments by many authorities each chapter examines the aspects of the master’s storytelling, themes, visions and techniques. I lost count at over 250, but it is brimming with the many images, including many full-page pics and several two-page spreads! There are some photos of him too!
Topped off by the extensive chronology, glossary, footnotes and acknowledgements, this thoroughly beautifully informative, entertaining and inspirational book is not the first fine book pertaining to Miyazaki’s magnificent works, but it might just be my favorite, and I will give it the “A” as in Arietty! Now here is Nyo-sensei to discuss
The Art of Neil Gaimin & Charles Vess’ Stardust!
Originally published in 1997 as the four issue mini-series by DC Comics’ Vertigo impurrint, Stardust is the romantic Victorian fantasy tale of a fella named Tristran who embarks upon the quest beyond his small quaint English village to prove his love to the mysterious stargirl.
It was written by Neil Gaimin https://www.neilgaiman.com
and illustrated by Charles Vess. https://greenmanpress.com
! We have met Mr. Vess at numerous cons! The tale was later released in other editions such as the trade papurrback and the hardcover, and it was made into a live-action movie in 2007!
Published by Titan books, this dust-jacketed full color 160 page hardcover art book by Vess -with the introduction by Gaiman – measures 12.5” tall x 9.875” wide and .625” thick, purriced $39.95 in the USA $53.95 in Canada and £34.99 in the UK.
It has over 175 pics such as Vess’s ideation sketches, pencil drawings, inked art, paintings, and lots of behind the scenes information, plus images from the Fall of Stardust Portfolio by Vess and other artists such as William Stout, Mike Mignola, Jill Thompson…
… Tony DiTerlizzi, P. Craig Russell, Paul Chadwick, Gary Giani, Stan Sakai, Terry Moore, Bryan Talbot, Terri Windling, Susanna Clark, Geoff Darrow, Lisa Snellings, Zander Cannon, and never- before published art by Mike Kaluta and Sergio Aragones!
I will give this beautiful, entertaining and informative book the highest purraise, and especially recommend it to fans of Gaimin, Vess, and romantic fantasy tales! That will conclude this month’s purrint-media mewsings, so nnow I will turn The Mew over to Petra and Bunniibuns who willl purresent the latest